Calgary – The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) called the federal government’s decision to finally green light the Trans Mountain expansion “trivial” as the industry is five years into the worst recession in its history.
That statement was made in a press release after the announcement of the federal approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion.
“If shovels hit the ground today, Canadian producers must still wait years for additional capacity, and with bills C-48 and C-69 appearing to be all but final, industry and investor sentiment suggests the writing is on the wall for Canadian oil and gas,” the CAODC said.
“While commodity prices have recovered since 2014 lows, oil and gas families and oilfield businesses remain decimated. Hundreds of thousands of people remain unemployed or underemployed, businesses can no longer obtain credit, investment is gone, and energy companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange are at all-time lows,” the release noted.
“This industry is on life support. Today’s announcement does little to provide future certainty to drilling and service rig contractors as they continue to exit the Canadian market at an alarming rate,” said Mark Scholz, president of the CAODC. The association expects further challenges with the passing of bills C-48 and C-69 and does not foresee any additional pipelines proposed under the new legislation.
Rather than promote the “exceptional record of Canada’s oil and gas industry” to help balance the conversation about the environment and the economy, the federal government instead continues to pursue regulations seemingly designed to put it out of business, the CAODC said. The result has been multiple cancellations or delays for several major pipeline projects, and an exodus of investment.
“The federal government’s agenda is clear, to cause irreparable damage to the oil and gas industry and its workers,” said Scholz. “There is absolutely no reason for this type of approach given our environmental and operational track record, and the women and men in this industry don’t deserve to be treated in this way. The federal government should reconsider the way it has politicized and marginalized one of Canada’s greatest assets.”